Saturday, April 14, 2012

Guest Post: BookTastings by Jackie Gamber

I'm so pleased to have Jackie Gamber making a stop on her blog tour for her new young adult novel Sela. Sela is the second in the Leland Dragon Series and is available now from Seventh Star Press. She is an award-winning author and writes stories in various lengths that have appeared in anthologies, periodical publications. Jackie is winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction, was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is also a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association.

I met Jackie last year at Fandom Fest in Louisville and she was an absolute delight to talk to. She was on a panel of young adult authors and it was really neat to hear her speak. She also held a BookTasting at the convention and I really look forward to that this year. 

Again, thank you so much Jackie for stopping here at KGG for the Sela blog tour and I wish you all the best! Guest post after the break!

“The Frightened Forest” and Stash’s Chocolate Hazelnut
Tea – 
A Treat for Fantasy Lovers
and the Kids They Once Were

By Jackie Gamber, author of REDHEART and SELA, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series

I’ve long been a fan of both books and tea. Fiction, with its infinite incarnations, can be an escape, a treat, a way to live a part of life with all the senses engaged. And tea, with its equally diverse variations, can provide the same payout! Put them together; sip a perfectly brewed cuppa while reading a delicious book, and you’ve got a double dose of the good life.

BookTastings came about with this in mind, but a step further. What if the kind of tea while reading a particular book enhanced or complemented the overall experience?

It can! It does.

Today’s surprise stop on the SELA blog tour at Kentucky Geek Girl is a perfect opportunity to share a BookTasting, and has special meaning for me. Because today I’m talking about “The Frightened Forest”, by Ann Turnbull. It’s a Scholastic Book, copyright 1974, and the first book I remember reading as a kid that opened a valve in my heart for fantasy (although I didn’t realize it was ‘fantasy’ at the time). It’s also one of the first stories that made me realize I wanted to do write, too. Those kinds of books. With magic, and wizards, and knowing trees.

“The Frightened Forest” is the tale of Gillian, from London, visiting her cousins for the summer. Showing her around, Paul and Stephanie take her to an abandoned railroad, and the dark and spooky tunnel that passes under “The Devil’s Table”. Dares are passed around, and Gillian is dared to walk the tunnel. No flashlight. Not usually the kind to rise to adventures, Gillian nevertheless comes to decide she’s going to do it. Early one morning, she leaves a note:

I am going through the tunnel without a light. If you don’t believe me, be at the other end at 8 o’clock. Gillian.

Taking up a stick to drag along the tunnel walls, she inadvertently chooses a branch of rowan, mountain ash. With the power in that stick, as she exits the tunnel, she lets loose a powerful, angry force that has been trapped inside for decades.
And, unknowingly, she releases a battle for the forest, and for the world, that must be fought with the help of the Lord of the Woods.

Can there be a better reading experience than that? Only if you combine it with a cup of Stash’s Chocolate Hazelnut tea! The tea is as rich and satisfying as Turnbull’s fantastical tale, and as smooth as her kid-friendly prose. Add a splash of cream and sweetener, and the tea becomes a dessert. Just the kind of “chocolate milk” experience that reading Turnbull’s book can be.

And the tea is decaf! So you’re free to share the tea, and the story, with any youth who hankering for a special treat.

Stash’s Chocolate Hazelnut tea and “The Frightened Forest” are a BookTasting match made for each other. The stuff of imagination. For all fantasy lovers, and the kids we used to be.

For more BookTastings, visit

For more information about Jackie and her mosaic mind, visit
And meet Jackie elsewhere on the world wide web at:

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